The New England Patriots have a handful of needs — linebacker, cornerback, receiver — entering the 2022 NFL Draft in April with one first-round selection at No. 21 overall.
But despite the many directions the Patriots could go, it seems one name continues to pop up in NFL mock drafts: Utah four-year linebacker Devin Lloyd. NFL draft expert Daniel Jeremiah revealed his mock draft 2.0 on Tuesday and the NFL Network analyst has the Patriots grabbing Lloyd with their first pick.
“Lloyd is long and athletic,” Jeremiah wrote. “He’ll be a tremendous asset in the Patriots’ pass defense.”
Jeremiah’s colleague Lance Zierlein previously indicated the Patriots could draft Lloyd, as well.
Jeremiah has Lloyd, the 2021 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, as the first linebacker off the board.
Another potential target for the Patriots, and one who has also been mock-drafted to New England, is Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean. Jeremiah has Dean being selected No. 24 overall by the Dallas Cowboys — a notion that indicates the Patriots would have their choice of the two best players at the position.
Lloyd, listed at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, would add much-needed speed to a unit that lacked it throughout much of the 2021 season. Lloyd recorded 111 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, seven sacks, four interceptions and six passes defenses during his final season with the Utes.